Forging friendships

I spoke with an old friend today about some painful things...an impending separation, old wounds that haven't found healing, connections missed over the years. I was reminded again how purposeful Jesus was about relationships. Our pastor referred to a New Testament story this Sunday, the one in which the blind man is calling out from the noisy throng for healing as Jesus passes through a busy street clogged with clamor and chaos. Jesus stops, puts a hand on His disciples shoulder, and looks straight at the man, inquiring what he wants. The man says simply, "To see, my Lord." Jesus heals him on the spot, and tells him to go on his way, that his faith has healed him. And the man departs, praising God from that moment on (Mark 10). Jesus could have just healed him without ever speaking to him. For that matter, why send Jesus to do it at all? Why not just say, "Okay, world. From 32 to 33 A.D. there's going to be healing in Jerusalem. No questions asked, no contact with Savior required." Why bother with the whole Jesus thing at all? Why give the disciples that gift? Why not just heal everybody?

I propose that it is because relationship is what ultimately matters. That connections are what light God up about the human race. He likes to hear me laugh, just like I tickle and tease to get my toddlers to giggle. He likes to hold me when I cry, just as I bend to kiss scraped knees and nurse smashed fingers. He likes to rejoice with me when I rejoice, and answer my questions when I am perplexed, and sit with me while I rant occasionally. I think that's why Jesus personal touch is what was required for that blind man to see again. He wanted to connect with him, and to draw praise from his lips forever.

I see the connections forming between Caleb and Amelia, these lonely days without older siblings to entertain and diffuse conflict. They've worked out a new pecking order, they're sharing, they're pretending together. Amelia led Caleb in a fabulous game of imaginary phone yesterday that was a sight to behold! These connections...aren't they what we're designed for? Loving one another?

That's why my heart aches when hurts go unsolved in the friendships I've cherished and worked for and nursed along through hard times. I look forward to heaven, when dear ones are gathered round me, without these little bruises and thorns to throw our connections off course.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. I John 4:7-8

I throw up my hands
"Oh, the impossibilities"
Frustrated and tired
Where do I go from here?
Now I'm searching for the confidence I've lost so willingly
Overcoming these obstacles is overcoming my fear

Never underestimate my Jesus
When the world around you crumbles
He will be strong, He will be strong

I think I can't,
But I think you can,
Gather my insufficiencies and
Place them in your hands...
~ For the Moments I Feel Faint, Reliant K